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Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:12 pm
by Scubie Doo
We originally were going to spend the day at Salt Creek. However, Yelloweye informed us that the viz at SC was very poor. So rather than trek all the way to SC, we decided to hit Sunrise. We also decided to do an extended dive that day to maximize our search for the Mosshead Warbonnet.

Saturday, I met up with Stephen and Val. We geared up, splashed, and made our way to the wall. About 15 minutes into the dive Stephen flashed me to indicate he found a GPO on eggs. I swam over to the den and he proceeded to point out the newly hatched GPO. Here you can see one carrying its egg sack.

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I have only seen this phenomonon once before at Three Tree. We had a great 120 minute dive and saw so many cool critters in addition to the baby GPO.

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We did go back the next day (Sunday) and also joined ScubaJess and Yelloweye. The goal was to head back to the den for the hatchlings. Upon arriving at the GPO den, we found the mom GPO out in front of the den dying. It was a very sad scene, but encouraging seeing so many babies hatch. Shortly after I saw the dead mom, I found a huge male GPO out in the open. It Actually crawled down the wall right in front of an unsuspecting diver :-) Here are two contrasting shots. The first is the eye of the dying GPO and the second is the eye of a vibrant male GPO.

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Finally, I will leave you with a parting shot of a baby GPO leaving its den. Have a great week and be safe.

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Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:01 pm
by stphnmartin
Awesome photos Jesse. Really wonderful experience.

The hatchling shots are amazing, but the photo of the mother’s eye I found really moving.

Here’s my contribution. A screen grab from the video.
F4F9C425-9828-4328-B0C4-BDD043FD1238.jpeg
Giant pacific octopus hatchling.

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:02 am
by Vjw
Absolutely phenomenal shots you both got!! Really like the story, Jesse. What an amazing experience.

Was researching it, and Female GPOs lay each egg individually and string them together in the den. Average amount is around 68,000 eggs and only about two make it to adult-hood! The hatchlings travel up into the water column and become part of the plankton and feed (or get eaten) for about 10 months until they are larger and can't stay on the surface water tension any longer.

I'm so glad that YE went to SaltCreek to find out viz bad there so we went to Sunrise instead. How lucky!! On Saturday, the hatchlings were making their debut every few seconds. They vigorously jettisoned up, up and away!! Tiny to see, so if you take your eye off for a millisecond, they're impossible to find again. Going back on Sunday was a somber event because the mother had crawled out of the den in preparation to die. This attracts predators away from the den, improving the survival of any straggling hatchlings. First shot below is from Saturday and second two from Sunday. She was becoming part of the food chain - note the rockfish in the upper left.

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:40 am
by Penopolypants
Beautiful shots, and what a grand day of diving!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:15 am
by ScubaJess
It was so amazing diving with you guys! :taco: :notworthy: :eric:
I feel so lucky to see the babies, but it was so sad to see the dying loving momma. :luv:

I've only seen this 3 times in my 720 dives. It's just the coolest thing ever.

Here is my snap :popcorn:

IT'S A BOY!!!!
- Meet Oliver Oden O'Sullivan The Second!!!
- 8 Arms, 9 Brains, 3 Hearts, 1 Beak, Blue Blood!
- Weight : 1 mg
- Height : 3 mm
- Birthday : Sunday September 22, 2019
@ 6:14 PM
- Location : Gig Harbor, WA

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:45 am
by Tom Nic
Amazing!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:15 pm
by derekcs
Amazing shots!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:29 pm
by YellowEye
Great shots guys!! Amazing experience! Here is one of my shots from the adventure
DSC_7811.jpg

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:35 pm
by derekcs
Is it still possible to head over there and see the hatching?

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:37 pm
by YellowEye
derekcs wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:35 pm
Is it still possible to head over there and see the hatching?
Doubtful. The predators were moving in quickly and the mom is dead. And with the limited tide windows and the closure of the park at dusk, we assumed it wouldn't be.

-Eric

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:42 pm
by Scubie Doo
Gdog and I went today. Mom is dead in front of the den, new octo has entered the den, babies still hanging on the roof of the den, but no hatchlings. Not sure how the new octo impacts the eggs and hatching.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:20 pm
by Gdog
The eggs dont look good...I'd say its over.
GPO on Old Eggs.jpg

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:58 am
by KeithBoll
Really stunning pictures!
What a great way to end the month of September!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:07 am
by Gdog
All fantastic shots! I missed out, late to the party, all the babies are gone. Jesse, that Octo Eye is off the chart!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:25 pm
by H20doctor
Nice

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:47 am
by lvonada
Sunrise GPO Dive
Thanks to Steve, Valerie, Jess, and Eric for your kind direction and info regarding the hatchling action. We (son Greg and I) were taking advantage of favorable tides on an "off dive day" (meaning: Greg had a 10hour shift starting that night) at Sunrise. What an INCREDIBLE experience to see these little guys enter life. Conversely sad to see Momma Octo expire but amazed at the order and details ongoing in creation. Thanks again all!

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:43 am
by ScubaJess
lvonada wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:47 am
Sunrise GPO Dive
Thanks to Steve, Valerie, Jess, and Eric for your kind direction and info regarding the hatchling action. We (son Greg and I) were taking advantage of favorable tides on an "off dive day" (meaning: Greg had a 10hour shift starting that night) at Sunrise. What an INCREDIBLE experience to see these little guys enter life. Conversely sad to see Momma Octo expire but amazed at the order and details ongoing in creation. Thanks again all!
I'm so glad we got to meet you guys and see you down there with the Babies! This dive will be on my best dive list for all time!! :luv:
:) Jess

Re: Sunrise - GPO Hatchlings

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:17 pm
by YellowEye
lvonada wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:47 am
Sunrise GPO Dive
Thanks to Steve, Valerie, Jess, and Eric for your kind direction and info regarding the hatchling action. We (son Greg and I) were taking advantage of favorable tides on an "off dive day" (meaning: Greg had a 10hour shift starting that night) at Sunrise. What an INCREDIBLE experience to see these little guys enter life. Conversely sad to see Momma Octo expire but amazed at the order and details ongoing in creation. Thanks again all!
Very good to meet you. Fun to hear about the multiple generations of divers!